The premier of Victoria, Australia’s most populous state, publicly apologized today for Australia’s now-defunct laws against homosexuality.
“For the laws we passed, and the lives we ruined, and the standards we set, we are so sorry—humbly, deeply sorry,” Premier Daniel Andrews said before Australia's parliament.
Prior to the 1980 decriminalization of homosexuality, gay Australians could be prosecuted for charges like “gross indecency” and “loitering for homosexual purposes.”
Andrews said the damage from that period still lasts, and the healing process can only begin with an apology to LGBT Australians by the government that enacted and enforced those laws. Today he attempted to make that apology-- in powerful, sweeping terms.
“This parliament and this government are to be formally held to account for designing a culture of darkness and shame,” he said. “And those who faced its sanction, and lived in fear, are to be formally recognized for their relentless pursuit of freedom and love. It all started here. It will end here, too.”